Monday, June 1, 2009

Second Semester= SUCCESS

2nd semester =Success!!!

We have had an extremely busy second semester, that is why we have just now had the opportunity to post on our blog. So many exciting things have happened and we are going to share them with you.

First we got our proposal finished and turned into Ms. Smith. Good thing too, because she does not play when it comes to getting in assignments. We discussed what worked and what didn't work in our proposal and we really like the overall outcome.

Second we selected our homeowner. We had a choice between two homes and after some discussion we made our decision. The homeowner was a bit hesitant about the project over all and about having so many teens in her home, but she warmed to us and now she is like another grandmother for us. We were so happy that we were able to help her. She is so appreciative and that is all we wanted.

Third we were able to get in a home auditor from GB3 Energy Solutions named Grant, who tested the homeowners home for energy efficiency. He used what is called a blower door and measured the amount of air escaping from the house and getting into the house. After he tested the home he sent us a report on the fixes that can be made to make the homeowners home more energy efficient. He then came to our classroom and explained the results of his audit and helped us decide on what we can do to maxmize our budget and get the most benefit for the homeowner.

Fourth we selected the improvements we would like to see made to the homeowners home. We decided to purchase a brand new energy efficient washer & dryer, we selected the LG version and it is nice. Many of us want that washer & dryer in our own homes. :-) We then got great news TIAA-CREF decided to donate CFL light bulbs to us for our retrofitting and to spread the word throughout our school about energy conservation. We also decided to have blown in cellulose insulation, a new furnace and to have her windows sealed. We spent the majority of our money and are really excited about it.

Fifth with the help of our auditor, Grant Swanson, from GB3 Energy Solutions we were able to select a company to put the furnace into the homeowners home. We chose Horizon Mechanical and we got a lot of help from one of the Owner/Operators, Tom Wolvin. He not only agreed to help us find a furnace that would fit the homeowners needs, but also came to our school to talk to our class about HVAC in general with a focus on furnaces. We learned how they work, what it takes to select the right one and that the size of the home really makes a difference when it comes to heating and cooling. Who ever thought we would be interested in furnaces, certainly not Ms. Smith.

Sixth we sent Ms. Smith to the homeowners house to sign paperwork. She said she sat down and explained everything that was happening and everything that we agreed to do for the homeowner. She said the homeowner was very excited.

Seventh full steam ahead. We were all ready to do our retrofitting on the 18th of April and low and behold there was a freak spring snow storm. Ms. Smith called all of us the day before to cancel, because she said that she didn't want anyone having to go out in such horrible weather, but all was not lost. We still had the washer and dryer delivered to the homeowner. Ms. Smith called to check and see if she received it and she had. The homeowner was so excited and grateful, Ms. Smith said, that she was almost moved to tears. That gave us even more fire to make sure that she got everything we wanted to pay for.

Eighth we finally were able to reschedule and it turned into a retrofitting week. Tom and his employee Scott came out to the homeowners house while we were there and showed us how to measure the home, showed us the corrosion in the old furnace and taught us about piping and venting a furnace properly. There was so much going on, but it was really interesting. That was on Monday May 11,2009 after that everything was a whirl wind. On the day that we came to visit we gave a thank you letter and lightbulbs to the home owner. Then on that Thursday May 14, 2009 the furnace was installed. A few of us were able to go and see this happen. We couldn't stay long because it was finals week. Everything was going smoothly. The next day Friday May 15, 2009 the state inspector came and checked to make sure that the furnace was installed properly and that it was vented according to code. It PASSED!!! With flying colors.

Then on Monday May 18, 2009 Grant and his company GB3 Energy Solutions came and blew the cellulose insulation into the attic. He said that when they went into the attic there was about a 5 foot area that had no insulation in it at all and it was open to a wall that lead into the homeowners room. So GB3 sealed up the hole and blew the insulation into it. A couple of us were able to come and check out this process. It was cool. Then Scott from Horizon Mechanical met us at the home just to make sure that we and the homeowner were satified with the work. We were, then he had us participate in a commercial that is going to go on Horizon Mechanicals website. We were so excited. This project was really turning out great. Then the people from GB3 Energy Solutions sealed the homeowners windows and did what is called a blow out. This means that they put the blower door back up and measure the amount of air that is escaping from the house to see the change in energy escaping from the home. Grant sent us an email later and it said that the air flow in the house went from 2600 cubic ft/minute to 1800 cubic ft/minute which is a big change when you look at it in terms of money.

During the week of the retrofit, during class we went around to different teachers in the school and personally gave them CFL (Compact Flourescent Bulbs). They were very appreciative and many of them took pictures with us, which we will post in another blog. We then took some of the bulbs and made a tower and wrote a thank you note to TIAA-CREF for being so nice as to donate the bulbs for our project. We then placed a bulb into the boxes of the rest of the teachers in the school, we wanted to do this to keep energy conservation on the minds of people in the school.

What a way to end the year. We didn't think we would ever get here, but we did and we have Goodwill Industries of Denver, Inc. GB3 Energy Solutions, TIAA-CREF, Horizon Mechanical and Denver Public Schools to thank for the success of this project. Man what are we going to do next year. Keep following our blog to find out.

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